by Sheri Schofield
Sometimes, finding God’s will for our lives can be confusing, because sometimes God asks us to do the unusual. What we perceive is a well-mapped path may not be where God is taking us. Maybe He wants us to blaze a trail for Him where others have not yet traveled.
That was what happened to me. A few years ago, I had gone with our missions team into Mexico. We were in drug cartel territory helping small churches in the Sierra Madres, the beautiful mountains of north-central Mexico. During that trip, one of the Mexican women who worked in children’s ministries told our pastoral team, “We have no curriculum. Please help us!”
Though it took me some time to understand what God wanted of me, I recently returned back to Mexico, bringing a book I had written and illustrated on the plan of salvation with them in mind. It was not yet published in Spanish, but I had supplementary materials in Spanish, in notebook form, and had brought along the illustrations. I also planned to teach a children’s ministry seminar on multi-sensory methods, showing the assembled pastors’ wives how to effectively communicate Bible lessons to children.
I had written this book particularly for the church in Mexico. Many of the people from those towns were featured in my illustrations. It was an exciting time! They were thrilled to see familiar faces in the illustrations — some of their own children, some of their leaders. This book was theirs!
After the first class, we all went outside for a break. Suddenly, a big boom followed by the noise of heavy machine gun fire filled the air. A battle was being fought about four blocks away. This town was situated right on the line between La Linea Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, and it was ground zero for warfare.
We went back inside, where thick, adobe walls offered protection. When the machine gun fire drew near and the battle raced up and down the main street only a block away, we paused to let the noise pass, then returned to our lessons.
We later learned that La Linea Cartel had ambushed a state trooper vehicle with a grenade launcher and machine guns. State troopers swarmed the town and were in control by the time we left. Their pickups had machine guns mounted in the back, manned by police wearing black hoods and body armor. They were rolling out to battle the cartel. That day, five cartel members died.
Throughout the turmoil, I was totally at peace, for I knew God had brought me to that place. I trusted that whatever happened, I belonged to God, in life or in death, and I was not afraid.
I am not young. I know the dangers of this ministry. But there is something freeing about being in the center of God’s will, following His plan for my life, going where He leads me. My friends and I are blazing a trail for Him in Mexico’s cartel country, where evil dominates. I have found God’s will, and I am not afraid.
King David, a man of war, knew the security of being in the center of God’s will. In Psalm 23:3,4 he wrote, “He (God) renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me . . .” (NLT)
When I follow God’s will, my safety lies not in time, but rather, in eternity with God. I am content with that.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV
About the author: Sheri Schofield, is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.
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